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Alerus CEO Randy Newman a Finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year®

Alerus | MAY 02, 2016

Upper Midwest Awards To Be Announced June 9

We have some exciting news to share: Alerus Financial Corporation's CEO and president, Randy Newman, has been named a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2016 Award!  This award program was founded by Ernst & Young, a global financial services firm perhaps most recognized as one of the "Big Four" audit firms. Now in its 30th year, the award recognizes entrepreneurs who have a track record of achievement in areas like innovation, growth, and financial performance, and those those who demonstrate real personal commitment to their businesses and communities.  Randy and Alerus are part of the Upper Midwest region, which Ernst & Young defines as Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and North  and South Dakota. 

Randy is one of 25 finalists in this very competitive region, and he is proud to be in such good company and to represent Alerus. Each finalist was chosen by a panel of independent judges, who are business leaders from a variety of industries and companies. The award winner will be announced June 9, 2016, during a gala held at the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, which opened its doors in November in Bloomington, Minn.

A Brief Background of Randy's History With Alerus

Randy came to First National Bank North Dakota (now Alerus) in 1981 as an investment banker. In 1987 he was named president of the company and was ultimately named CEO in 1995. Only two years later, Grand Forks was devastated by the historic flood of 1997, during which a fire destroyed First National Bank's buildings. More than 100,000 square feet of space and all paper records were lost. Most employees faced the devastating loss of their homes and possessions. Under Randy’s leadership, the company responded by re-routing its headquarters temporarily to Fargo and renting a hotel for employees to live in while Grand Forks rebuilt. The company survived and in 2000, a few years after the flood, the company changed its name to Alerus Financial and under Randy's leadership began making plans to expand.

Growing the Business 

Along with the board of directors and his senior management team, Randy was convinced that Alerus needed to grow outside of North Dakota in order to survive in a consolidating industry. Since 2002, that conviction has led to 18 acquisitions, the two largest of which occurred in 2016 with the purchases of Twin Cities-based Beacon Bank and Albert Lea, Minn.-based Alliance Benefit Group North Central States Inc. Over the last six years, Alerus has grown by three times its asset size, three times its profitability, and three times its employee headcount - the company now employees about 850 people. 

Community Involvement

Over the years, Randy has been active within the Red River Valley community, donating his own time and money to worthy causes while encouraging Alerus employees to do the same. During his tenure, Alerus has contributed millions of dollars to worthy causes and employees have donated thousands of volunteer hours to support their communities. Randy has served on a number of boards and has held a variety of leadership roles at multiple organizations, one of which is UND’s Center for Innovation Foundation, which advises and supports young entrepreneurs. He has been involved with that organization's efforts for more than 20 years.

About the Award

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries throughout the world. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® National program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 19, 2016. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

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